The Rapidian

Builders Exchange of Michigan's 64th Annual Golf Outing to Benefit Guiding Light's Back to Work Program

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Builders Exchange of Michigan will host its 64th Bart Austhof Memorial Golf Outing to benefit Guiding Light’s Back to Work program on Monday, Aug. 31. The annual event features a new location with two 18-hole courses.
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About Guiding Light

Founded in 1929 as the West Fulton St. Mission, Guiding Light has grown into a robust recovery and re-engagement community designed to help those living at society’s margins fulfill their God-given potential. The nonprofit has been building on a near century of compassion and celebrated 90 years of serving Grand Rapids in 2019. Through its Back to Work, Recovery and Iron House programs, Guiding Light works with men struggling with addiction and homelessness to return to society. Since 2017, Guiding Light has earned a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, which underscores our commitment to accountability and transparency. For more information, visit guidinglightworks.org.

Builders Exchange of Michigan will host its 64th Bart Austhof Memorial Golf Outing to benefit Guiding Light’s Back to Work program on Monday, Aug. 31.

Community members are invited to join for a day of golfing and giving back at the Saskatoon Golf Club, located at 9038 92nd St. SE in Alto. The four-person scramble will begin at 10 a.m. on two 18-hole courses and be followed by awards and prizes. Enhanced sanitation protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are in place so that all attendees can enjoy the event safely.

This is the fifth consecutive year proceeds from the annual event will support Guiding Light’s Back to Work program, which provides a short-term stay for men who are experiencing homelessness and seeking full-time employment, allowing them to save money while they look for more permanent housing. The program is designed to support men who face significant barriers to finding and keeping full-time work, including debt, lack of housing, lack of transportation and other challenges.

“Guiding Light works with each individual in our Back to Work program to overcome obstacles that keep him from succeeding in the workplace and maintaining employment,” said Stuart P. Ray, Guiding Light executive director. “We help build and hone life skills needed to do well in the workplace, such as management of time, finances and conflict with others.

“The continued support of Builders Exchange through this event allows us to keep helping men who are struggling to regain financial independence re-engagement in society through meaningful work.”

In addition to help with job research and coaching, budgeting support and other training, Guiding Light provides men in the program with the essentials: a bed and safe place for their belongings, three meals a day, transportation to and from work and daily encouragement. The nonprofit also helps cover the cost of any job prerequisites, like uniforms, work boots and tools.

When they enter Back to Work, men shoulder an average of $5,156 in debt. Men who successfully complete it leave the program having erased their debt and with an average savings of $1,714.

“As an association serving the Michigan construction community, we love how Guiding Light truly gives men the tools they need to succeed,” said Elizabeth Bovard Strong, executive vice president of Builders Exchange of Michigan and member of the Guiding Light Board of Directors. “Leading up to the golf outing, we’ve been hard at work sharing with our members the good work that Guiding Light does, and especially what a blessing the organization has been during these challenging times.

“There is such a spirit of generosity among our construction community and across the state of Michigan. We look forward to safely gathering at the end of August to celebrate that spirit and help a great organization.”

In 2019, Builders Exchange raised $15,500 through its golf outing, a number that has increased each year since it began supporting the Back to Work program in 2016. The not-for-profit association is hoping to continue the positive trend by recruiting more teams to participate and securing more sponsors than previous years.

Those interested in participating in and/or sponsoring the golf outing may complete the registration and sponsorship form available at grbx.com.

To learn more ways to support Guiding Light’s rescue, recovery and re-engagement services, visit guidinglightworks.org or contact Development Director Starla McDermott at [email protected] to make a donation.

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